Otolaryngology Book

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Sore Throat Symptomatic Treatment

Aka: Sore Throat Symptomatic Treatment, Pharyngitis Symptomatic Treatment
  1. See Also
    1. Sore Throat
    2. Sore Throat Causes
  2. Management: Mild to moderate Pharyngitis
    1. Maintain adequate hydration
    2. Liquid Acetaminophen
    3. Liquid Ibuprofen
      1. May offer greater relief than Acetaminophen
      2. Requires adequate hydration
    4. Salt water gargles (1 tsp salt in quart warm water) or warm broth
    5. Diet of smooth, slippery and wet foods
      1. Ice cream
      2. Jell-O
    6. Hard sucking candies (e.g. butterscotch)
    7. Honey (2 tsp) to coat throat
      1. Avoid in age under 1 year (Botulism risk)
    8. Soothing throat lozenges
      1. Menthol lozenges (e.g. Vicks)
      2. Pectin (e.g. Halls Breezers)
    9. Herbal tea containing "Demulcents" (e.g. Throat coat)
      1. Contains Elm bark, licorice root and marshmallow root
      2. Offers short-term relief of Pharyngitis (<30 minutes)
      3. Brinckmann (2003) J Altern Complement Med 9:285-98 [PubMed]
  3. Management: Severe Dysphagia and Odynophagia
    1. Trial of oral fluids 20 minutes after Pain Medications
    2. Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) 25 mg gargles up to qid
    3. Maalox 10 ml swish gargle and spit before meals
    4. Magic Mouthwash (gargle and spit)
      1. 1:1:1 mix of Benadryl, Maalox and Viscous Lidocaine
  4. Management: Medications to Avoid
    1. Topical throat Anesthetics are not recommended due to Rebound Pain
      1. Phenol (Chloraseptic)
      2. Dyclonine (Sucrets)
      3. Benzocaine (Cepacol)
  5. Precautions
    1. Avoid Systemic Corticosteroids (ineffective) in mild to moderate Acute Pharyngitis (aside from Peritonsillar Abscess)
      1. Hayward (2017) JAMA 317(15): 1535-43 [PubMed]
  6. References
    1. (2021) presc lett 28(1):5

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